Friday, April 21, 2006



I didn't really plan on it. I didn't even know that it was near by. It was just one of those things one really should do if one is in Krakow. I debated and thought, but people kept telling me that I really should go.

I visited Auschwitz.

The day started like any other day: chatty, happy, out to see the sights. Once the first exhibits were reached on the tour - the gas chamber/crematorium of Auschwitz I - the whole crowd took on a very hushed and somber disposition. That lasted the rest of the day.

It was intense. Absolutely, emotionally intense. It is a harrowing place. Nothing has ever really driven home the scale of the Holocaust before. There are actually three camps that make up Auschwitz - Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, and Auschwitz III. The Birknau camp was built solely for extermination. The scale of the place is unbelievable. The whole camp is over 400 acre. It takes 15 minutes to walk across the camp at a brisk pace from the train gate to the end of the line.

It was good to go out for a meal and a drink afterwards. It helped to remember that we are alive and lucky.

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